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The Destiny was built by the Ancients millions of years ago and was intended to follow up on the building of Stargate networks by seeder ships that were sent to unexplored galaxies hundreds of years before the ship's launch. But when a plague swept through the Milky Way, the Ancients' new home after they fled for their lives from their enemies in what is now known as the Ori Galaxy, their attention was drawn toward their own survival. They worked on methods to achieve ascension, the casting off of their physical bodies to live as a form of energy on a high plane of existence, as well as left the galaxy in massive and powerful city-ships such as Atlantis. The Destiny was left to journey through space alone until the people of Earth's Stargate Program boarded it during their frantic evacuation of Icarus Base through the use of a ninth chevron dialed on the base's Stargate. These people were joined a few months later by members of the Lucian Alliance, an enemy from the Milky Way who wish to possess Destiny for their own nefarious purposes.